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The Moral Roots of Liberals & Conservatives

The Moral Roots of Liberals & Conservatives

Posted: March 7, 2018

You are going to have a hard time with this blog if you don't watch this video. Watch it.

Gatsby & TailwindCSS

I am writing this as I watch the video for maybe the fourth or fifth time. I take issue with this first quote:

"Open individuals have an affinity for liberal, progressive, left-wing political views, whereas closed individuals prefer conservative, traditional, right-wing views." (McCrae, 1996).

That is hard for me accept. I like Applebee's. And yeah, I saw David's wiener before I appreciated his abs. So, no I don't want to eat at Chez-anything but does that mean I can't appreciate a "global community .... welcoming people from every discipline and culture who ... seek a deeper understanding of the world, and [who] hope to turn that understanding into a better future for us all." (Ted, 2008)

I love TED. And AND I know a lot of conservatives who do too. As a matter of fact, a very right wing conservative shared this video with me. So? What about that? Well, as hard as it is to accept the "closed" label, I choose to (1) accept it's a real perception and (2) keep an open mind and awareness about that.

Take the red pill, stay in Wonderland, and I’ll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

I love how he ties in the Matrix. First, I just love that movie. Second, he challenges this self-professed liberal audience to make a choice: stay in their blue liberal moral matrix or, swallow the red (republican) pill. I love how he uses the colors to tie politics in with the movie. But in this case the red pill is an invitation to think more . . . conservative. He is simultaneously linking and juxtaposing ideas. Very creative.

The 5 Foundations of Morality

This is the core of the video. His research identifies how these five channels of morality play out in liberals and conservatives:

  • Harm / Care
  • Fairness / Reciprocity
  • InGroup / Loyalty / Tribes
  • Authority / Respect
  • Purity / Sanctity

If you don’t already know where you stand, you can take the survey here, Liberals put a higher value on Harm/Fairness. Conservatives put slightly less value on Harm/Fairness but, they put equal weight into all five areas: harm, fairness, InGroup, Authority, and Purity. Liberals discount these last three significantly compared to conservatives. You could say that liberals have a two-channel morality while conservatives have a five-channel.

In our current context loyalty and tribalism gets a bad rap. I really appreciate the value he illustrates that comes from our ability to form groups and sub-groups.

The great conservative insight is that order is precious and it is really easy to lose.

Can you handle the truth?

Liberals and conservatives both have something to contribute. According to Jonathan Hait, they form a balance on change VS stability. Yin & Yang don't hate each other. Once we understand this, then the path is open to leave our moral matrix.

If you want the truth to stand clear before you. Never be for or against. The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease. ~ Sent-ts'an 700 CE

With that quote in mind, I’d really like to hear what you think. According to Jonathan Hait, liberals and conservatives form a balance on change VS stability. Do you agree? I don’t.

Git Sum (un)common sense,

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© 2018 · Rho Lall